Printer Friendly

Another way to get rid of houseflies? It's biological.

Another way to get rid of houseflies? It's biological

With summer's warm days come house-flies--especially if you live near areas where horses or other livestock are kept. Controlling these buzzing pests around your home is never easy; even if you can reduce breeding in your garden, new flies can migrate from miles around.

Now there's new biological control thatmay help you reduce this nuisance on a neighborhood-wide basis. Minute wasps that parasitize the pupae (cocoon-like dormant forms) of many types of common flies can be released into breeding areas to reduce new generations.

The effectiveness of these flea-size waspshas not been scientifically proven under all possible conditions. But there are reports of significant reductions in fly populations when the wasps are released where fresh manure builds up, as in barnyards or stables. If you have a serious fly problem, chances are good that it can be traced to such areas near your house. If the owners cooperate, a release around nearby livestock may reduce flies throughout your neighborhood.

Because they don't bite, sting, or migrateindoors, the wasps won't become a nuisance themselves.

Where to buy parasitic wasps

The major supplier is Rincon-Vitova Insectaries,Inc. For a free catalog, write to Box 95, Oak View, Calif. 93022. To order by credit card, call toll-free (800) 248-2847 or, in California, (805) 643-5407.

Minimum order, 5,000 wasps, costs$12.50 plus shipping. This should control flies in an area containing 5 large animals (horses or cows) or 7 to 10 smaller ones (dogs) for a month.

The wasps are shipped as dormant larvaeencased in dead fly pupae and enclosed in a small paper bag or cardboard container.

How to get good results

You'll have better luck if you releaseadult wasps, including a high percentage of females that have already mated. To accomplish this, place the fly pupae encasing the wasp larvae in a canning jar. Streak two or three thin lines of honey on the insides of the jar for food, then seal the jar with a cloth top.

At room temperature, the wasps shouldbegin emerging from the fly pupae within a week--males hatch first, then females. Give them two to three days to mate in the jar, then release them within 100 feet of fly-breeding areas--they can't fly longer distances.

To keep up with fast-breeding flies (a newgeneration hatches every two to three weeks), release the parasites at intervals over the entire season. Schedule shipments according to your needs.

Since the wasps only parasitize fly larvae,you should also try to reduce the existing adult fly population. Traps or poisonous baits (follow directions carefully) are most effective. Do not use pesticides on breeding areas; they may kill the wasps along with the nuisance.

Photo: Just 1/16 inch long,parasitic wasp deposits eggs on fly pupa; wasp larvae will hatch, kill pupa

Photo: Sealing wasps in jar before release ensuresmating and promotes egg production
COPYRIGHT 1987 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Date:Jun 1, 1987
Previous Article:How to multiply matilija poppies ... challenging to very difficult.
Next Article:"The formality of the French, the loose, spilly quality of the English."

Related Articles
Winning the battle against those wily flies.
Bees and keepers tackle mite-y problem.
Contest cooks up real treat for Jane.
First butterfly that's genetically modified.
Tam Cowan: Male flies are bigger target.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters